A couple of years ago, I printed out a “map” of the Appalachian Trail using my personal printer with ink cartridges that had needed to be changed months before. It’s blurry, faded, and wildly inaccurate. I taped the crappy map to my wall and it is still hanging there. My dreams of thru hiking the Appalachian Trail started on that day when I taped the map to the wall, and the idea that this wild plan has become my reality is terrifically perfect.
In 2011 I dropped out of my tiny midwestern Liberal Arts college during the fall semester of my senior year. As I reflect on that decision, I conclude that my quarter life crisis happened during that time. The urgency to leave something so monotonously plain was a feeling I’d dwelled on and accepted during the first three years of my college experience but by year four I was so over it. So, I packed my bags and moved to New Zealand…’cause that’s what you’re supposed to do after dropping out, right? Fast forward to now and everything is just peachy. Despite a couple twentysomething mental breakdowns that feel like the most important thing in the world but really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, everyone survived. It’s the little victories, people.
I’m back in Minnesota working a handful of jobs with odd hours that seem to consume every waking hour. When I’m not working I am planning. Planning how to the hell I’m going to walk from Georgia to Maine, what gear I am going to take, how I can shave ounces off the gear that I do decide to purchase, what I will do to when it rains or snows or I get attacked by a bear or fall in a river, etc. etc. etc. I’ve contacted a handful of companies seeking out sponsorships or product endorsements and am excited to share the end results once they’re finalized. I go to REI weekly and just look at gear. I’ve purchased a few key items that have already been weighed with my mom’s Weight Watchers food scale and I keep those neatly organized in my room as a daily reminder that yeah, I’m really hiking the Appalachian Trail. I will post an up to date gear list once my selections have become more complete.
So, meet Allison. I’m a 23 year old college dropout with a thirst for adventure and a crappy A.T. map on my wall. I’m excited to share this journey with the world wide web and am hoping to have this experience be as interactive as possible. In the early stages (now) I have lots of questions and naive opinions that I can only learn from. Join me in this adventure and countdown to Springer and follow me along my hike. I’ll be joined by my hiking partner, Diana, and look forward to meeting some of you on the trail.
Until then, happy trails.
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